The greenest cities in the world

seven steps to sustainable cities

Donald Trump may have pulled out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement but the US President is alone in believing that climate change is a myth. Cities and their businesses across the world are doing their bit to decrease the size of their carbon footprint in a bid to be kinder to the planet and reduce the number of melting polar ice caps.

A sustainable environment is crucial to a healthy and happy future for earth and one city leading the way is Copenhagen. The Danish capital has been rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is home to nearly two million people. Known for its advanced environmental policies and planning, the city has a plan to be completely carbon-neutral by 2025. The city’s infrastructure is specifically designed to be conducive to bicycling and walking, as opposed to motor vehicles.

copenhagen wheel

Surprisingly, not too far behind Copenhagen in regards to sustainability is New York. The concrete jungle is the greenest large city in the United States. For its size and population, its greenhouse gas emissions are impressively low, with a large number of residents relying heavily on the expansive public transportation system. The city itself hosts a green building initiative to help reduce emissions from toxic gases.

Elsewhere in the US, San Francisco is leading the way as the greenest city in the States and was the first US city to ban plastic grocery bags. Leading the way for America in solar energy use, local artists are incorporating recycling into their art in order to inspire others to do the same. The wastes from residents and businesses goes directly into recycling, as opposed to in the trash. Non-bio gradable plastic bags have been banned since 2007 and the goal is for the city to produce zero waste by 2020, in just three years’ time!

If businesses get on board the plan, it’s completely doable as they can pave the way and inspire residents to do the same. A number of the world’s biggest businesses from Apple to Walmart have plans in place to reduce their carbon footprint and the difference they help to make can be substantial. Even casinos are getting on board green plans, from using combined heat-and-power systems to streamlined access flooring, to ductless air supply combinations, daylighting and even energy-efficient gaming systems. Of course, you could always help to reduce your own footprint by turning down a trip to the casino and staying at home to play online. There a host of reputable and fun casino sites out there offering online poker, blackjack, roulette and ton of innovative slot machines.

Away from the bright lights of any casino, Stockholm was the first EU city to win the European Green Capital Award. Sweden’s capital started to coordinate environmental planning as early as the 70s, utilising its ample green space. The city aims to be completely fossil fuel free by 2050. It remains to be one of the cleanest cities in the world.

In Asia, Singapore may be heavily industrialised but following that period, bosses noticed the heavy pollution it brought. Instead of standing idly by, Asia’s greenest city took the bull by the horns and tackled the problem head on. The first Singapore Green Plan was created in 1992 to bring clean water, clean land and clean air. The plan is to have zero waste in landfills by 2050.

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